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Subject: Getting a Leg Up
From: Daniel Lipkie

A "somewhat" humorous (and sexist?) wine article


WSJ February 10, 2007; Page P5

In the years we have been writing our Tastings column, which appears on Fridays, we have received thousands of questions about wine from readers. In this column, we answer some questions that touch on common themes. We have edited the questions for space. If you have a question, drop us a note at wine@wsj.com1. Be sure to include your full name, city and state.

Could you enlighten us about legs? A real visual pleasure for us is seeing those glistening rivulets coasting in parallel down the glass. Are they a function of the wine or the glass? Inevitably when the wine has legs, we enjoy it, and when it doesn't the enjoyment is diminished.

--Mairead and Malo Forde, Kensington, Conn.

The complete answer is long and complicated, but the best, most concise response comes from Karen MacNeil in "The Wine Bible," who writes that legs, which are sometimes called tears, "are a complex phenomenon related to the rate at which liquids evaporate and the differences in surface tension between water and the wine's alcohol content. Legs have nothing to do with greatness. With wine, as with women, there is very little meaningful information one can deduce by looking at the legs."

John would add, however, that one can certainly still enjoy looking..

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